Community • Engagement • Changed Lives
Santa Fe Christian School is certified
as a 2012 Best Christian Workplace!
|Santa Fe Christian Schools (SFCS) is a college preparatory school offering preschool through 12th grade. Located in north San Diego County, the main campus is on 17 acres in Solana Beach with a Preschool located on a second campus in Encinitas. Founded in 1978, SFCS was originally part of the Christian Unified School District. In 1985, it became an independent, coeducational, non-denominational, non-profit Christian school. Originally built as a hotel in the 1940’s and later used as a military academy, the campus sits atop a hill with a view of the Pacific Ocean.
SFCS currently has enrollment of about 940 students on the main campus and 80 in Preschool on its Encinitas campus. There are 148 staff and faculty and the annual budget is over $15 million.
SFCS believes in the Living Curriculum—teachers who are experts in their academic discipline and role models to their students. Teachers share a mutual belief in Jesus and are motivated to help each student find and develop their God-given talents. The SFCS faculty and staff are comprised of committed Christians who model faith through everyday life and who teach academics within a biblical framework. All faculty members have undergraduate degrees and 92% have completed a credentialing program and or a master’s program.
The campus features state-of-the-art technology, which includes computer laboratories, projection system, monitors and computers in every classroom, electronic whiteboards, and high-speed Internet access for all students. In addition, there is a Library/Technology center, five science labs, and a television production center that allows students to film, edit, and broadcast television productions. SFCS video streams all Chapels and major events, including athletics, both on and off campus.
The arts are also strongly emphasized, with a drama department that produces major performances each year, an art gallery, choral and band rooms, and several large art rooms.
At SFCS athletics play a pivotal role in student development. Students have the opportunity to play a variety of sports comprised of 42 Upper School and 22 Middle School athletic teams (and 80+ coaches).
Santa Fe Christian is accredited by both the WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) and ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International).
In 2011, SFCS’s Lower School was named a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School, a distinction by the U.S. Department of Education that ranks it among the highest performing schools nationwide. This year Santa Fe Christian was one of only 49 private schools in the nation awarded this honor and the only private school named in California.
The mission of Santa Fe Christian School is to partner with Christian parents within a Bible-based community, in order to disciple students to embrace biblical truth, strive for academic excellence, and model Christ-like leadership to influence their homes, churches, and communities for Christ.
Protecting the unique and deep sense of community (please see addendum—Strategic Pillars) among staff and families is crucial to carrying out the vision God has given SFCS. Consequently the right personality fit will be a key determinant of whether someone is a candidate for the Chief Development Officer role.
There is a strong element of gratitude, anticipation and excitement based on what the staff has witnessed of God’s work in their midst. The staff recognizes that SFCS is an invigorating, inspiring and unique workplace that provides an environment of professionalism, passion, and potential. This is a hard-working and fervent group who are highly motivated and passionately committed to the mission and purpose and to carrying out their ministries with excellence. Staff members are encouraged by their Head of Schools, Tom Bennett, and the Board to dream big and to reach higher within the context of processes and procedures. While they work hard, there is an emphasis on maintaining a strong family life and achieving balance.
This is not a political environment. Great care is taken to assure that team members treat each other with dignity, respect and foster a healthy relational climate. As a result, the group consistently works on being transparent, open, and creating a climate of trust.
To foster the connection and unity among senior leaders, there are bi-monthly Leadership Cabinet meetings that include a time of devotion, discussion of SFCS’s Strategic Plan, updates on key division-level activities and projects, and often over breakfast or food. SFCS has monthly all staff meetings; a time where information is shared and planning occurs. There are also weekly all-staff devotionals where, though attendance is voluntary, a large percentage of the faculty/staff makes participation a priority. There is a sense of fun too—for example, the Facilities Team sponsors “Cof-Facilities,” a weekly gathering where diverse freshly brewed coffees are tasted and fellowship promoted.
Part of the staff health is because of the value placed on free-flowing discussions and sharing of honest opinions. SFCS has a “Kitchen Cabinet”, with representation from faculty and staff across all divisions, to ensure open dialogue and discussion with the Head of Schools. People feel free to talk to each other about problems and areas for improvement. Challenging ideas is perceived as positive. Everyone is welcome to give input to decisions, and input is seriously considered.
TOM BENNETT—HEAD of SCHOOLS
Tom Bennett moved to the San Diego area at the age of three. Tom graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from San Diego State University and a Ph.D. from UCLA in Educational Psychology. He has worked in youth ministry and in the classroom as a high school teacher/Department Chair before joining the faculty at California State University, San Marcos in 1995. While at CSUSM, Tom served as Professor of Mathematics Education and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs until he joined SFCS in 2007. Additionally, Dr. Bennett has served as an education consultant for 18 years and is recognized as an authority (trained thousands of teachers and consulted for most every district and county office of education in the region to improve teaching and learning) in the area of cognitive development, and more specifically, mathematics education.
Tom has been married to Christine for twenty-five years and they have three children: Sara, a senior at Baylor University; Tyler a sophomore and Evan a third grader at SFCS. Tom and his family attend North Coast Church in Vista. Tom enjoys anything outdoors (including running) and serves on the Board of Vision San Diego, a public charity that seeks to unify the San Diego region to serve the public good.
Tom is described by his direct reports and staff as driven, thorough, fair, competent, devoted, attentive to details, hands on, and having a huge heart for Santa Fe’s students and families. Tom’s arrival five years ago brought process, standard operating procedures, and a strong culture of accountability. Today, Tom and his devoted team have turned the ship around, causing the school to be solidly “in the black” (tuition covers 100% of operating expenses, freeing the development function to focus on strategic initiatives), and is weathering the current economic storm in a healthy manner. Tom leans into his process and measurement oriented mathematical background to bring a sense of defined organization to the school. Tom values creativity and maintains a collaborative spirit among the team. He also values thoroughness and attention to details in process management. New senior staff members, though having an excellent track record at previous organizations, can anticipate participating in Tom’s process oversight until a track record at the school is developed and trust is built.
SFC is located in Solana Beach, a charming seaside community nestled along the northern coast of San Diego County. The city is only 21 miles north of San Diego’s international airport, and connected by Interstate 5, it has easy access to all of the cultural advantages of a large metropolitan area without having the disadvantages.
The city lives up to its name with temperatures that average 62 degrees in the wintertime and 77 degrees in the summertime. It offers 1.7 miles of coastline for swimming and surfing. Most days you will see locals drop by to watch the sun set at Fletcher Cove. It is a favorite destination for those looking for eclectic shops, great dining, golfing, and nearby hiking. There are many excellent churches in Solana Beach and the surrounding area.
The Chief Development Officer position entails providing leadership and vision in the area of fund development through strategic planning to increase the donor base. This may be accomplished through the annual fund campaign, foundation and corporate participation, faith based initiatives, capital fundraising, grants acquisition, endowments, special events and deferred gift programs. This position has the overall responsibility for planning, executing and monitoring the performance of all of SFCS fundraising activities. This includes the analysis of existing programs to ensure that programs remain effective and developing while initiating new programs and marketing materials to better meet the needs.
Candidates should have an understanding of stewardship and how that would allow them to enthusiastically share with others the blessings of financially supporting SFCS.
PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL QUALIFICATIONS
The successful candidate for this position will possess many of the following professional and personal qualifications:
|Santa Fe Christian School is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity and is committed to treating all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, sex, age, national origin, citizenship, sensory, physical or mental disability. However, by the nature of Santa Fe Christian School and its purposes, it does limit its hiring to people whose beliefs, theology and lifestyle are consistent with the school’s Statement of Faith (see addendum 1)
We fully respect the need for confidentiality of information supplied by interested parties and assure them that their backgrounds and interests will not be discussed with anyone, including our client, without their prior consent, nor will reference contacts generally be made until mutual interest has been established.
|Ardent Search Company, a subsidiary of The Dingman Company, is a retained executive search firm devoted exclusively to serving our clients in matters of executive selection. Together, the companies have served the business and non-profit world nationwide since 1979.|
If interested, please email the following to:
Patti Schultz, Office Manager
ARDENT SEARCH COMPANY
Phone: (805) 778-1777 ext. 14 · Fax: (805) 778-9288